How representative is the European Union Parliament?
We test the closeness of the correspondence between the preferences of EU citizens and their delegations to the European Parliament using data on roll-call votes. Differences in EU citizens' preferences are captured using a variety of country characteristics including bilateral country dummy variables, and the demographic, social and economic characteristics of the countries. We find that the differences in delegations' voting patterns are not strongly related to underlying differences between the countries they represent. Our findings support the existence of a democratic deficit in the EU -- a gap between the preferences of EU citizens and the way their delegations vote.
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